1. hallda01's Avatar
    Hey guys. I originally posted this at CrackBerry, but they moved it to the "Other Devices" thread so I guess it fits better here. I just switched from a Bold 9930 to a Galaxy S4 Active, and I wanted to go through the pros and cons of the switch from something that is essentially a communication tool to a media consumption device. (PS if you see anything on the BlackBerry Pros list that you know a good Android solution to I'd appreciate it).

    Pros for Bold:

    1. Universal Search
    The first thing I did was try to find a good widget to replicate this and haven't found one that works without opening an app. I probably used this feature the most of any on my BlackBerry and there isn't any good Android alternative. It's kind of forced me to be more organized with my apps and data so that I can find it quicker, but the universal search would be much better.

    2. Calendar/Email/Messaging Integration
    It's just not as fluid on my phone. Sliding down from the top and seeing all my unorganized notifications isn't as clean as it was on BlackBerry, and going into the apps to use them isn't as quick or simple. You can still do all these things, but again, it takes a little more digging.

    3. Sound Profiles/Bedside mode
    It should be more obvious what different audio settings mean to different apps. I miss being able to just set up a profile that handles a situation. I've seen third party apps that do this, but having it baked in would be more ideal. Furthermore, I've accidentally turned off my alarm twice this week. I wasn't late, but I could've been (shakes fist in rage).

    4. Syncing
    I used to think that BlackBerry Desktop Manager was clunky and slow...then I used Samsung Kies. Plus I liked being able to just copy things to my card as if it were a flash drive rather than going through an app. Now I'd have to take it out to do that.

    5. One handed usability
    This is more a comment on Samsung than BlackBerry. The 5 inch screen is a little too big for my relatively small hands to operate one handed. It's hard to reach the other side of the screen with my thumb. On my wifes HTC One I can, but the Galaxy S4 is just too big.

    6. Keyboard
    I almost didn't put this, because really, it hasn't been a big deal. Admittedly I'm a bit faster on a hardware keyboard, and could type without looking on my Bold. That said, SwiftKey is pretty killer, and I'm pretty close to as fast as I was with auto-correct. I do miss the trackpad for text correction, but with SwiftKey you can set it to have a row of arrow keys at the bottom, which works pretty well. Even if you're sticking with BlackBerry and getting one of the 10 devices, I'd go full touch. It's easier than you think to make the switch.

    Pros about Galaxy S4 Active

    1. Overall Connectivity
    Google Now is awesome. It gives me all the info I want without asking (whats the score in the White Sox game? How long does it take to get to O'Hare for my flight). If you use any of the Google services, Google Now learns from it and makes information available to you instantly. You can also set a reminder, like "get milk when I'm at (your local grocer)." Then when you pull into the store a notification will pop up and tell you to get milk. This has already been used by me a ton.

    2. Media Consumption
    This is the biggest reason I made the switch. I use Netflix all the time. I don't have a TV in my bedroom and my wife falls asleep a lot earlier than I usually do. The PlayBook with Plex was not reliable for running Netflix since it would often lose connection and you couldn't start from where you left off. I still you Plex to stream media from my computer, and it runs a lot smoother on Android. I'd say this was a spec thing, but Plex for Android ran better on my brothers old Nexus S than it did on the PlayBook. Plus, Spotify is great, and almost makes up for the poor syncing experience.

    3. Travel Tool
    Navigation is leaps and bounds better. Plus, Google Now is hooked up to it. So if you look for where a restaurant is on Google, it sends a card to Google Now without you having to input anything. It's super handy.

    4. Web Browsing
    I'm not going to go into speed because that's not a fair comparison and I will explain why at the end. I'm using Dolphin Browser on my S4, and it's great. I like especially that the tabs are always visible, unlike Chrome or the stock Samsung and BlackBerry browsers. Plus the expanded screen real estate is fantastic.

    5. Camera
    I wasn't a huge picture taker before, but the shooter on the Active, even though it's not as good as the one on the normal S4, is probably the best camera I've owned period, let alone for a phone. Also, I didn't realize how stupid it truly was to not have auto focus on the Bold until now. Really big drop of the ball on that one. Plus Samsung's phone software is top notch. The dials through the settings are super intuitive, so even a novice like me can figure out.

    6. Apps/Games
    What needs to be said here that hasn't already been said? I will say the final nail in the coffin for me on switching was when I was helping my wife set up her HTC One. I had spent months finding work arounds, services, apps, and other various hackings to get my PlayBook to where I wanted it to be and it still wasn't great. I was able to do all I could do on my PlayBook, and more, within an hour of opening the box on my wife's One. I'm just sick of settling for workarounds when something that works extremely well is easily accessible. I'm sick of all my family and friends playing the latest game, only to get it 6 months later when they're not playing it. Apps are often a social experience, and I'm sick of being out of the loop.

    7.Cosmetics/Widgets
    Even with themes on BB7 devices, and active frames on BB10 devices, they're still just app launchers essentially. That's not bad, and devices need them certainly, but they're not the only thing you can have on your homescreen. It takes one press on any Android or Windows Phone device to get to the app launcher. The home screen is yours to customize. They can give you the splash of information you want or heavily used apps and quick launch widgets you need. Apple and BlackBerry need to know: widgets are awesome and useful. Get some.

    8. Piece of Mind
    My contract is for 2 years. Is BlackBerry going to be around for 2 more years? I hope so, but I don't really know. Nobody knows. Though I can say with confidence that Google will be sticking around till the end of my contract. When Chase stopped working for my Bold in July it was an eyeopener about how my device could be rendered useless if developers stop supporting it. Until BlackBerry can show me with tangible apps that they have developer support I won't be coming back.

    Things that are better that aren't in BlackBerry's Control
    Going from the Bold to the Active is a huge jump in hardware. I don't mean to make this about comparing a 2 year old device to a 4 week old device, I just wanted to compare experiences.

    Likewise, this is a jump from 3G to LTE so that's huge. Plus I jumped from Sprint to AT&T which is another huge jump in speed. I didn't want to talk about browser speed and things because of this, but I do find myself using my phone more in the wild, away from wifi, because of the increased speeds.

    Overall
    I'm really enjoying my first Android device. In the past I was worried about build quality, since I saw my brother and sister decimate a large number of Android devices (my sister has had in the past year an a half, in this order due to her using used and old phones: Palm Pixi, HTC Evo, Palm Pixi, HTC Hero, HTC Evo Design, Galaxy Nexus). Additionally, whenever I used one in store it was laggy and clunky. With Jelly Bean it's buttery smooth, and the Active and One are extremely solid pieces of hardware. My firm isn't big on instant communication, so the E-mail thing isn't as crucial to me. It's also nice to hear about some app or something on TV and not have to wonder when it's coming to my platform. It does happen occasionally with iOS exclusives, but not often.

    After about 6 months with the Bold it almost became an extension of my right hand. I knew everything about it and was extremely efficient with it. I'm still learning with my Active, but I feel like I can eventually get that way with this device. I still am excited to see what BB10 has in store, and will keep coming to CrackBerry to see the latest updates, but until they develop into a more robust OS, I can't see myself picking up a BB10 phone. And if I can't see myself buying one, I certainly can't see myself recommending one to someone. That said, I do still like fiddling with one anytime I go into BestBuy.
    troshs likes this.
    07-17-2013 10:32 AM
  2. troshs's Avatar
    I'm probably going to get flack for this from someone, somewhere...but I'm glad I'm not the only one who is switching from Blackberry to Android and has the guts to post here I myself am not crazy about the BB10. Not sure why...and also, I want more apps. Blackberry has very limited amounts and most of the stuff I find useful is only for Android, and iPhone...and I think it would have to be my last resort to buy an iPhone. I appreciate your post and it helped me quite a bit to see what kind of differences you noticed. My Torch 9810 will always be my backup phone.
    07-17-2013 12:32 PM
  3. hallda01's Avatar
    I think you'll find a lot of former BB users here at AC. And I agree, the ability to deliver the best apps and services are what brought me over finally. I like the idea of BB10 and the whole Flow paradigm, but they haven't delivered on apps and services, and don't have a track record to show that when they say the services are coming that they'll actually be there.
    07-17-2013 12:43 PM

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